Whether it is in advertising, blog posts, or the news, video is increasingly present on the internet. While improvements in technology partially explain this increase, that is far from the whole story. One of the main reasons that videos are increasingly present in the digital world is because they are scientifically more effective than other mediums at expressing a message.
The Science of Vision
Human beings may have five senses, but that doesn’t mean that all of those senses are used equally. Studies show that 83% of our sensory input comes from vision and hearing makes up another 11% of our sensory input. We are literally biologically programmed to see more than we hear, smell, taste, and touch combined.
And when it comes to that visual sense, it is particularly effective when movement is involved. Even the tiniest amount of movement engages the eye, causing it to track that movement. That tracking instinct means that humans focus better on videos than they do on static text. This also means that scrolling text in video, like at the opening of Star Wars, is easier to focus on than static text like subtitles.
Whether or not movement is involved, visual imagery is transmitted to the brain faster than text is converted into a mental image. Humans can recognize the primary conceptual idea of a visual image in about 1/10th of a second. A description of that image takes significantly longer to read and then still requires extra time to fully process.
Visual Memory is Better
Not only do we identify and process moving images better than we do text or audio recordings, we also remember them better. One study shows that 80% of the subjects were able to recall the details of an advertisement they had watched up to one month after watching it. That rate is considerably lower for an advertisement that has been read.
Emotional Response to Video
Finally, while emotional responses are difficult to quantify, we can quantify the presence of emotional responses. Video is much more likely than other forms of media to cause neurons to fire that correlate with emotional responses. This matters greatly in the marketing world where emotional responses, even ones that are not fully positive, correlate with higher conversion rates.
More Than Just an Art
Creating the perfect video is mostly art, but choosing to use video in the first place is scientifically sound. Our knowledge of biology and psychology both prove that video is a more effective means of engaging an audience than any other form of media.